It’s sad but true: Hotel guests often have very sticky fingers. Of course, hotels expect you to take the shampoos and toiletries from your room, but guests are waltzing off with things the hotel didn’t intend for them to take home. Here are the facts on hotel theft, courtesy of Amy Bradley-Hole. She worked in hotel management for many years, and is now a travel columnist for MSNBC:

  • So, what’s stolen most often from hotel rooms? Irons. Followed closely by coffee makers. That’s because they’re not secured, like wall-mounted hair dryers. Our expert points out that hotel irons are made for tiny wrinkles, not everyday use and most hotel coffee makers use “brewing pods” that are only sold wholesale. Besides, hotels charge at least $40 for missing appliances. For half the cost, you could find a better model at a local store, and not have to lug it home in your suitcase.

  • So, what else do hotel guests steal? Columnist Bradley-Hole remembers one guest who asked where he could buy a cheap suitcase to carry home some artwork he found. After he checked out, the housekeeping staff discovered that he’d stolen every painting from his suite.                    

  • Another time, a new hotel was opening an entire floor of penthouse suites for their VIP guests. Just before the grand opening, Ms. Bradley-Hole and the manager glued every single knickknack to the furniture – and for good reason. Three days after the suites opened, a guest asked maintenance to send someone up to help her get some figurines unstuck - because she wanted to take them home with her!

  • It’s also not uncommon for hotel guests to walk off with every towel and piece of bedding, along with every pillow in the room. Before you decide to try a little five-fingered hotel discount, know this: Most hotels charge a stiff fee for every item that goes missing from your room. After all, it is stealing.

Bottom line: If there’s something in your hotel room you really love, ask if you can buy it. Chances are you’ll get a brand new one in the original packaging. You can also buy new ones at “hotelsupplies-online.com.”